Saturday, December 1, 2012

54th us up

54th edition is up at Carnival of Evolution #54: A Walkabout Mount Improbable.

And it's a super-fancy one, so don't miss it, and let everyone else know, too.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

CoE #53 at Sorting out Science

Sorting out Science is hosting CoE #53.

One post is about Pikaia, a very important fossil from the Burgess Shale:

Pikaia‘s general appearance resembles that of modern-day lancelets, as drawn above (Conway Morris & Caron, 2012), a resemblance reinforced by its small size and fins. Pikaia was ~5cm long and had a collagenous body wall, preserved in the Burgess Shale fossils as a silvery film. A dorsal thread can be seen running along the body, flanked by putative V-shaped muscle blocks; this is interpreted as a notochord or even a combination nerve- and notochord. This notochord and the muscles are key to Pikaia‘s positioning as an early chordate. A pharynx (i.e. a mouth) has been suggested at the anterior end of the animal, based on concentrations of sediment at the interior of the animals there (Shu et al., 1996); if accepted, this further solidifies a chordate.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Carnival of Evolution statistics

David Morrison just hosted Carnival f Evolution #52, and now he has written a post with lots of statistics of CoE: The network history of the Carnival of Evolution.

In short, we're doing quite well compared to many other carnivals who have gone extinct. This is especially true for science carnivals, of which CoE is the only active carnival listed on

The steady growth of CoE through time. "Fortunately, the number of posts has shown a steady upward curve, as indicated in the sixth graph, although not always at the one-blog-post-per-day rate set in the earliest days. However, over the past 20 Carnivals there has been an average of 1.06 blog posts cited per day of passing time, so we are certainly holding our own."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Repost: CoE #14

Carnival of Evolution #14

by whysharksmatter
This month’s Carnival of Evolution is as diverse as the evolutionary biology itself. Submissions include everything from summaries of cutting-edge research to critiques of long-held misconceptions about human biology and even of evolution itself.
I want to thank all of the science writers who submitted blog posts to this Carnival. I know that Southern Fried Science’s readers will enjoy them as much as I have.
That’s enough from me- read on to get to Carnival of Evolution 14!

Image from
Current research in evolutionary biology
Zen from NeuroDojo describes some fascinating advances in the field of plant/pollinator co-evolution with It’s the old boy meets moth, moth meets girl story.
Zen also describes an interesting evolutionary oddity- how stickleback fish can become “giants” (actually, around 7 centimeters) because they are isolated in “islands” (actually, ponds). Learn how They might be giants!
Andrew of the Evolving Mind explains what parasites and Barry White have in common- both get organisms “in the mood”. One works best with humans, and the other works best on populations of organisms by encouraging sexual reproduction to increase diversity and therefore genetic resistance. I’ll let you read to figure out which is which.
Evolution of Man
Bjorn from Pleiotropy’s post describes, believe it or not, new research that shows that the human appendix is not vestigial and has a function! First pluto isn’t a planet anymore, now this! Well, at least this time the research that will result in all the textbooks being re-written was performed at my alma mater, Duke University. Check out Darwin was wrong about the human appendix being vestigial!
Evolution of Man’s Best Friend
Satya of the Spitoon (affiliated with 23 and me) asks Whence Rover? Read about a new study showing that humans may have first domesticated wild dogs in Africa.
Greg Laden has liveblogged an evolutionary biology lectue. If that sentence doesn’t excite you, you are not a real scientist. Check out his Critique of Morgans Aquatic Ape TED talk (and there is a link to a video of the lecture so you can follow along).
Evolution and the “real world”
Andrew of the Evolving Mind muses about genetic modification of foods, different kinds of genetic engineering, and whethere this is a good or bad thing.
Jen of the Blag Hag tells of her visit to the Creation Museum with PZ Meyers. This is a link to the first part of her story, and you can find links to the rest at the bottom of her post.
Bjorn of Pleiotropy wonders how his favorite pastry, the tebirkes, evolved. Full of well-explained evolutionary theory, this post makes me hungry…I mean, um, makes me think.
Other evolution goodness
Greg Laden explains why saying that natural selection is “survival of the fittest” isn’t really true. It’s the latest in a series of “falsehoods”, and it’s an eye-opener.
That’s all for this month’s Carnival of Evolution! #15 will be hosted at Pleiotropy. Thanks for reading!
10 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 SEPTEMBER 2
    Actually, both singular and plural are ‘tebirkes’ with an s at the end. That’s because the name really refers to the poppy seeds (“birkes,” while “te” means “tea”), and there are always more than one of those on top (even if sesame seeds are used).
    • 2009 SEPTEMBER 2
      whysharksmatter PERMALINK
      Changed, sorry for the trouble. Where can I try one of these tebirkes? They sound yummy.
  2. 2009 SEPTEMBER 2
    Solvang is the only place in the US where I’ve seen them. Do take a pastry-trip to Copenhagen when you get the chance (go in the summer).
    P.S. Isn’t this CoE #15?
  3. 2009 SEPTEMBER 2
    Indeed! FYI:Science! listed theirs as 14, too.
  4. 2009 SEPTEMBER 9
    You’re alive!!! I had thought the rabid Steeler fans might have swallowed you whole upon arriving in Pittsburgh!

Repost: CoE #9

Carnival of Evolution #9

03.01.09 | 7 Comments

Let’s skip the introductions and polite-talk and jump right in!
As an obsessed observer of the natural world and all that evolution has to offer us, I often get so caught up in the seemingly never ending ‘forms most beautiful’ that I completely miss the magnificent mistakes. Or, to put it more accurately, the things I would have designed differently if god existed and I were him. One topic in particular that comes to mind when I think of these long overdue upgrades is the female human pelvis and its role in parturition. I must admit, I found this topic to be so enthralling that I dedicated my undergraduate senior thesis to the topic, but because I care about your well-being I will spare you the fifty pages and 150+ citations and instead direct you to the post Breaking Eve over at Anna’s Bones, where the author takes us on an beautifully written journey, detailing the beauty and horror of human parturition:
If there was ever an original sin, it wasn’t reaching for the apple; it was reaching for it on two feet.
When looking at seemingly huge ‘mistakes’ such as this, it’s quite difficult to tease apart what it is evolution means when it says it selects for those best adapted to their environment. For instance, does evolution mean better and more complex? It’s an assumption often stated by those unfamiliar with evolutionary theory, yet, on a level quite different from the pejorative way in which it is used by these some, the statement has some truth to it according to Bjørn Østman over at Pleiotropy:
As living things evolve, they do in fact become better. Better at what? Better at reproducing. Better than who? Better than the previous generations. Natural selection favors those organisms that reproduce more, and so over time the population as a whole will become better at reproducing. But is this always so?
It’s quite a trip, and perhaps it is a semantic argument, but I charge you to go and see for yourself. If life is evolution, and evolution is progress (in some sense), then what to say about those organisms that Darwin himself dubbed “regressive”, however? Christie Lynn over at Observations of a Nerd has dedicated an entire post to just these degenerates - Darwin’s Degenerates - Evolution’s Finest:
If I ask you what group of organisms is an exhibition of evolution at its finest, what would you say? Most people, I think, would say human beings, or at least apex predators. After all, we have staggering intellect compared to our prey items and clearly dominate the planet, eat what we will, etc. Not only that, we’re insanely complex. Ask some scientists, and they might give you any number of answers. Cockroaches are likely to exist long after we do, as are rodents, so maybe they get the title. Or, being scientists, they might be biased to whatever organism they study. Maybe algae and plants, as the sustenance for all other life. But all of you, in my humble opinion, are wrong. That is, unless you choose parasites.
The smallest things may make the biggest difference…
So, we’ve learned from the parasites that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the least you can do is figure out whether it was a product of convergent evolution by comparing it to other books that look remarkably similar (Sorry, my metaphor joo-joo is a little off today). So, when you’re walking about the world of fungi, a world I am ashamed to say I know absolutely nothing about, you find a striking resemblance between a certain lineage, Chytridiomycota, and quite a variety of species located elsewhere, outside of this lineage, on the great tree of life, including sponges, tunicates and coral, it’s okay if a “Wait…what?” or two pops into your head. Thankfully for us, the guys over at Southern Fried Science have the low down on this curious case. I highly recommend the post for a variety of reasons, but personally because it taught me a great deal about a topic I had little knowledge of:
A phylogeneticist will tell you that Mycology would better be served taught alongside Zoology. Fungi and Animalia form a single clade called Opisthokonta, meaning “tail-behind” for the single flagella that their earliest ancestors possessed. Fungi and Animals share a motile, flagellated common ancestor. A common ancestor that looks surprisingly like a choanoflagellate. This shared, protistan ancestor plied the aqueous world more than 460 million years ago. Should it then be a shock that the most basal fungi and the most basal animals are defined by flagellated cells (choancytes in animals, chytrids in fungi)?
From the other half of Southern Friend Science, whysharksmatter, we have a nice introduction into all that sharks have done for, and been done by, evolution since the origins of the lineage. Take a look at Blogging for Darwin: Sharks and Evolution for more information.
But, back to those pesky sponges for a bit… Over at The Oyster’s Garter, Miriam Goldstein gives us a little glimpse on the origins of sponges. According to a study recently published in Nature, sponges are likely to be at or over 635 million years old!
These ancient sponges eventually gave rise to all other animal life, though some of their descendants scorned higher organization for the loose & easy life. Since more than 90% of modern sponges resemble those ancient sponges, perhaps there’s something to be said for a simple life of filtering seawater and spawning.
As much as I enjoy learning about topics I know absolutely nothing about, it’s always good to return to something a bit more familiar…
Many of you may know that I am absolutely in love with the natural history of organs, particularly the vital organs of humans. It is somewhat of a sloppy science as fossils don’t preserve soft stuff the way we would like them to, but there is a great deal of experimentation we can do in the lab that will give us the ability to infer the evolutionary history of such structures. One of the more complicated of these structures, and certainly the most important to vitality, is the heart. It is a very complicated organ with an equally complicated natural history, but if you’re up for taking a journey in to the history of that very mechanism that keeps you alive day in and day out, you should definitely check out Irradiatus’s post over at Biochemical Soul fittingly titled Darwin and the Heart of Evolution:
In summary, the heart of Darwin’s theory of natural selection is the idea that evolution comes not through the “why.” It comes through the how - through the accumulation of minute individual variations that spread like wildfire when they contribute an advantage.  There remains no better demonstration of this principle than the myriad heart morphologies and functions we can trace today.
Each of you has most certainly inherited a cardiac variation, whether it be a major mutation in a gene, or a tiny change in one letter of your genetic code (a “single nucleotide polymorphism”).
Who knows…perhaps yours is the one upon which an entirely new evolutionary history will be built.
Who, me?
Continuing along with this mindless self-indulgence, I would like to direct you to a very enlightening post over at Neuroanthropology, Paleofantasies of the perfect diet. I have posted a few times here on the topic of what has become to be known as “evolutionary medicine” and the specious, adaptationist-programme arguments put forth by its proponents for solutions to modern medical problems. In this post, Greg Downey comments on an article recently published in the New York Times by Marlene Zuk on the ‘Paleolithic diet’ and all of the problems that come with such ideas:
Before we start waxing nostalgic about all the health benefits of a Pleistocene diet, perhaps we should remember that our ancestors’ food often came in this nasty packaging which tended to run away, attack them, or just go missing entirely when they were really hungry.
If you’re interested in this debate, or how some scientists are trying to use evolutionary biology in medicine (In a very non-effective way, in my opinion), then I highly recommend giving this post your undivided attention.
Speaking of evolution and medicine, there’s a new blog on just these two topics: Evolving Ideas. In a recent post, author Gustav Nilsonne takes us on a journey into the complicated world of cancer through the lens of game theory. It’s quite an enthralling read, so go take a peak:
It is in this complex tissue interplay that the tumour cells live and evolve. Cancer cells are genetically dissimilar from the people that are their hosts and progenitors, because they accumulate genetic changes of various kinds – mutations, deletions, amplifications, translocations – that enable them to proliferate independently and so on. One common first step in carcinogenesis is a genetic destabilisation, which leads to a much increased rate of genetic change.
Interesting, am I right? I think so. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on this blog.
But, away from my personal taste and back to the topic at hand…
Perhaps no other sub-discipline has given us such great insight into how the mechanisms of evolution function over the past decades as computational biology. While it pains me to say it, as an individual partial to dirty paleontology, the methods of computational biologists have been able to extract information from the genomes of organisms that Darwin could have never dreamed would be possible. In a post entitled Having a BLAST with Darwin -or- “(One of many reasons) Why genomics matters” Joe D gives us an introduction to the usefulness of computational biology through the example of HoX genes. Go on over and take a look:
Darwin may have been interested to learn that the Hox genes, which contain this famously conserved motif, happen to be key in determining the layout of the body early in development. There is genetic conformity to match the phenotypic conformity in early development.
And, speaking of Darwin, I am sure all of you know that his 200th birthday was this month. It was celebrated all over the world, and particularly concentrated amounts of Darwin love was spread throughout the blogosphere. A few of the submissions to this edition of the CoE were directly related to this event and the celebration of Darwin’s birth, and as such I’ve decided to place them all in one neat group. The following is all about Darwin love:
People love polls. I love polls. I am a person, so I guess that just makes sense. We love polls because we love statistics, and we love statistics because they’re short bits of information we can memorize to throw in someones face at a later date, perhaps at a party when trying to compete with another guy over the girl in the corner: “[Bill Nye Voice]Did you know that[/Bill Nye Voice] only 39% of Americans say they ‘believe in the theory of evolution’?”, for instance… Perhaps it’s not the best topic for this type of competition, but depending on the girl…
Anyway, the reason I bring it up is Greg Laden has a post with a nice selection of statistics from a recent Gallup Poll on “belief in evolution.” The results, as he states, are not surprising, but they sure are interesting. In an attempt to not give it all away before you click on the link, here’s a little taste of America future:
In answer to the question “Can you tell me with which scientific theory Charles Darwin is associated?” only a little over half knew.
Along with this simple ignorance of Darwin and evolutionary biology, there has been a huge spike in the debate over what some of his writings meant, what he would say if he were here today, etc… Perhaps the most prominent of these clashes, however, is at the crossroads of religion and evolution. And, while this topic is a dead horse long beat to death, almost on a constant basis, I get a certain feeling that with all of this energy supporting Darwin this year, we have a chance to really focus our efforts. As a part of this effort to discuss the philosophy of science, particularly with respect to this question and secular humanism, Peter Buckland at Forms Most Beautiful has written a post entitled The danger of indoctrination. Go over and stir up some debate.
When you need to take a rest from the debate, perhaps you can help figure out this one…
When you think “consumer of evolution” you think academia, right? You think of those individuals whose job it is to experiment or observe, those individuals we owe our current understanding of evolutionary biology to, those individuals who must consume and process all of the articles constantly being published on evolutionary biology so they may be better equipped to direct their research. What doesn’t immediately come to your mind, I would think, are birders. Am I right so far?
Well, after taking a glance at Mike Bergin’s article Why Birders Dig Darwin,  the necessity of being in touch with evolutionary theory for the recreational activity of birding becomes obvious. Really, it does. I promise:
Birders are consumers of the fruits of evolution, celebrants of the processes of natural selection and genetic drift. It may be fair to say that birding has deeper ties to evolutionary theory than any other recreational activity in the world. Whether we realize it or not, those of us who track changes in avian taxonomy for year to year, who care about splits in scrub-jays orEmpidonax flycatchers, are end-users of the very biological processes that inspire so much controversy and confusion.
In light of Laden’s Gallup Poll post above, perhaps we should all simply be working to convert the U.S. population to one made up completely of birders. I know it’s a roundabout way to have evolutionary biology accepted by the public, but it’s worth a shot!
Anyway, as I mentioned, when we’re discussing evolutionary biology and the way it propagates itself as a scientific theory throughout academia and into the public sphere we often focus intently on those producing new information, producing new understanding to add to the mix - the academic biologist. What we often fail to see, however, is that the most important element in the equation of dissemination is the k-12 teacher. This is the person on the front line, encountering every day the minds of tomorrow (And of course their parents). Us in academia are, for the most part, quite separated from the nonsense of creationism and religious dogma, and so we simply ignore the threat it poses because, to us, it really poses little threat at all. However, to the k-12 science teacher, and especially the high school biology teacher, this is not a conflict that can simply be ignored.
In a post entitled Blogging for Darwin: Happy Birthday, Dear Darwin! over at FYI Science, a high school biology teacher on the front lines gives us a little peak into the world of public school science education, and much more:
I can’t blame the biology teachers of the past very harshly.  Controversy is painful; if you’re a new teacher or one of the only science teachers in your district, the lack of support can be deadly.  Add to that the fact that most administrators and school board members don’t have a background in science, and you’re heading for disaster.
And yet, avoiding the controversy in their classrooms 25 years ago means that the controversy is still raging in classrooms today.
It’s a great blog, and a great cause. The battle for acceptance of evolutionary biology does not lie in the hands of the evolutionary biologist - there is so much evidence supporting the theory that more evidence really isn’t the issue - it is in the hands of the biology teacher, the individual responsible for shaping the minds of tomorrow.
On a less serious note, and as a nice conclusion to the carnival, and particularly to the 200th birthday of Darwin, if you are interested in a little peak into the Darwin’s Zoology Notes, a collection of the notes he took verbatim on his trip upon the HMS Beagle, I recommend taking a trip on over to Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and Sunsets and Rick Macpherson’s post Pioneering Observations:
Far from a simple catalog of specimen names and descriptions (though there is that too) the young Darwin frequently combined observations with speculation and reasoning. The true treasures in Zoology Notes for me, and as pointed out by Zoology Notes editor Richard Keynes, are some of his initial pioneering observations on the unique fit and modifications he observed of organisms from one environment to the next.
I hope you have enjoyed this edition of the Carnival of Evolution. It was truly a treat to read all of the submissions, and even more so because I learned a great deal in the process. For the housekeeping: if any of you are interested in reading past editions of the CoE, or in hosting future editions, click on the link to the CoE and shoot Irradiatus an e-mail. It’s a great carnival and, while young, has a lot to offer. Please, all of you who have submitted for this edition submit in the future, and those reading, please consider a submission. I promise we don’t bite!
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” - Charles Darwin

Repost: CoE #37

The Carnival of Evolution #37- Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all you other Canadians. I haven't ever done a carnival before, but unfortunately if things go the way they are going multiple blog carnivals will face extinction before we have even seen them, I may never get a shot at doing it again, that is true for me, for instance I never had seen "I and the bird" until last month's CoE and that is why I am going to post this brief excerpt from the last edition at Greg Laden's Blog which I totally agree with:
Do you have a facebook account? Good. Open up a selection of the following posts and if you like them or find them interesting, post them on your wall. Let your facebook friends see some of this interesting blogging. Do you tweet? Then tweet them! Oh, and go ahead and facebook-share and tweet this very carnival. Stumble, Digg, Reddit, Whatever. The idea is go get the word out that there is some interesting stuff to read, about evolution, on the intertubes. We want Evolution Blogging to be more linky and socially networked than other topics such as, well, creationism for example.
I have made the following categories for this edition of the CoE (thanks to past writers for the ideas):
  1. Evolution in Action.
  2. Predicting, Correcting, and Reconfirming
  3. Phylogeny and Systematics.
  4. "Controversy" and Education (creationism, etc)
  5. Genes and Molecular Biology.
  6. Applied Evolution and Computation.
  7. Darwin and history.
  8. The Ecological Connection and Extinction.
  9. Miscellaneous.
Thank you for your time, with no further ado, lets begin.
Evolution in Action
  First of all, we have a post from Empirical Zeal called "Why Moths lost there spots, and cats don't like milk. Tales of evolution in our time." It discusses to examples of evolution in action, these are the peppered moths (apparently the origins of carbonaria forms has been found in their genome) and the evolution of adult digestibility of milk is also discussed. I was tempted to place this in the Molecular biology section, places that would have suited this post just as well.
  Over at the Mermaid's Tale they discussed earlier this month the two mutations involved in the evolution of the deadly E .coli responsible for the outbreak in Europe.
  How have viruses changed to vaccines? This is an interesting subject especially in this example where it has become evolutionarily advantageous to be more virulent in chickens (more interesting than I make it sound).
Predicting, Correcting, and Reconfirming
  So you wanted to hear about chemical warfare in the cocktails of fruit fly ejaculate? No you say? Well here is what I would describe as almost the most significant post of this Carnival edition from Empirical Zeal, I give you "Flies alter their ejaculate to get the most bang for your buck".
  Also from Empirical Zeal, the origins of sex and a brilliant confirmation of the Red Queen Hypothesis, an interesting story of ducks and snails evolving to outwit a hoard of platitudinous Platyhelminthes.
Phylogeny and Systematics
  The tree of life has long represented evolution, but an article at "Byte Size Biology" suggests this is a false image because of the amount of endosymbiosis, I personally always thought the coral (which I believe to have heard to be Darwin's own suggestion) was a better model.
"Controversy" and Education
  Over at the Dispersal of Darwin we see a post dealing with quote-mining in a newspaper close to where said author lives.
  Over at "Evolving Thoughts" they are discussing the often loaded question; "Do you "believe" in evolution?" and it's implications.
  Over at Pleiotropy, crossing fitness valleys, and how the ID advocates are totally misunderstanding the concept of epistasis, it is amazing how much they can warp a notion to be favourable to them.
Genes and Molecular Biology
  "Beacon" a NSF centre for the study of evolution in action had this interesting article by a researcher trying to confirm hypothesis' discussing why proteins conferring immunity to colicin are so diverse, even though they are extremely vital (normally meaning they stay with what works instead of changing too much). This is a real controversy in evolutionary biology, discussing an important issue, a breath of fresh air after discussing the all too familiar creationist lunatics.
Applied Evolution and Computation
  In the Beacon there is a story about Digital Organisms and how it is possible to make them evolve, they were inspired by a book called "Prey" by Michael Crichton, a book I was planning on reading until someone through my copy in the river from what I saw it is a great book.
Darwin and History
  Have you ever wondered what Darwin would have had on his book shelf? What collections of writers would have had the opportunity to get into his life? Well now it is online, a significant portion of his personal books have been put online in Darwin's Virtual Library, go over to this post at the Dispersal of Darwin for more details.
The Ecological Connection and Extinction
  Over at the Mermaids Tale in a post labeled "Evolutionary Cascade" Anne Buchnan discusses the implications of our environmental impacts on the world and how it could lead to a cascade of extinctions after you remove just a few species that are important to the eco-system causing "eco-quakes".
  Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution is True has been discussing the neutral theory of ecology, a theory that is complex but recently has been put on trial by the President of the American Society of Naturalists.
  Now to NeuroDojo where we look at how the introduction of invasive species and how even in amphibians, reptiles braininess is a favourable feature if you are planning on invading, incept in Australia.
  Showing an interesting case of mutualistic symbiosis in plants and ants, "Denim and Tweed" shows how if you offer free lunches you don't always get payed for them...
  This post at Beacon describes how we study soil bacterium, metagenomics, how they are involved in the nitrogen cycle and how they react to fertilizers, this technical article may interest many, if you think you can deal with technical language this article is for you.
  From"Books and Beasts" we find a review of the recent "Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle". I had heard very little about the book until this but this review sparked my interest, I will be sure to buy the book given the opportunity.
  Thanks to "Byte Size Biology" we can look at "Zombie Science Round up" a look at forms of zombie making wasps and fungi who effect insects.
  NeuroDojo has some interesting looks at warning colours in mammals, I for one before this could not think of any warning colourations I had seen I had seen in mammals (incept perhaps the skunk).
  Anyways, here is a self-proclaimed physicalist perspective of behaviour, I think it is pretty interesting although still at issue, take a look.
 Ever wondered what material is rejected from the Carnival of Evolution? See here for one crazy, sexist example.

Monday, October 1, 2012

CoE #52 network edition is live

The 52nd edition is up at The Genealogical World of Phylogenetic Networks. David Morrison has done an excellent job with an introduction to phylogenetic networks, and special emphasis on networks-related posts.

Other categories include human evolution, the study of heterozygosis, evolutionary theory, evolution in practice, and a section about the ENCODE debacle.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Logging in to submitting to CoE

Submit to CoE #52 through As mentioned earlier, this now requires you to log in. But once you have registered the submitting is actually easier than it was before, where you had to enter your name and email and add an annoying captcha. So I encourage you to not let this new requirement stop you, but go on and register. Currently there are only 9 submissions, which will make for the poorest edition ever, unless you submit one (good) or two (better) of your own or any other blogger's post on evolution RIGHT NOW! Submit on the site, or leave the URLs in the comments here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Login required for submitting to CoE

Those of you who have tried to submit to CoE in the last month or so will have noticed that now requires you to log in. This has lowered the amount of submissions, which is very bad. I contacted the administrators, and they told me that other carnivals had gotten so much spam that requiring submitters to log in was the best solution. I personally think having to log in sucks, so I wonder if there isn't another solution.

One would be to stop using the site altogether and setup a different system. Does anyone have any good ideas or opinions? Stick with BlogCarnival? Set up shop somewhere else? Rely solely on email?

You can also for now leave links to submissions here in the comments.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

51st CoE at The Stochastic Scientist

The 51st edition of Carnival of Evolution is up at The Stochastic Scientist: Darwin's Restaurant. There's something on the menu for everyone. Next edition will be hosted by The Genealogical World of Phylogenetic Networks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Problems with - the site we use for submitting posts to CoE, right? - has been upgraded. Unfortunately, it now requires you to register and log in every time you want to submit a post. That clearly limits how many posts are submitted, so that's a big problem.

Therefore, we need to find a new way of submitting, as we cannot expect everyone to register on their site. I've already sent out an email inviting people to submit by replying to that email. That will be annoying in the long run, so we gotta figure something else out.

For now, sending an email to will do the trick, but you are also welcome to list posts in the comments here. Just post the URL, and I will take care to get it included in the next edition (provided it's appropriate, of course = about evolution).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

50th edition at Teaching Biology [with references]

For the love of references! If the submitted posts didn't all have references for support, they do now, because host of the 50th CoE edition, Marc Srour, has provided them himself. Everyone blogger who has a post included in this edition should go read it and consider reading the paper(s) that Marc refers to.

In my case, that would be
Chapter 2 of Luisi’s 2006 book, The Emergence of Life, has an excellent overview of the definitions of life.
Unfortunately, the preview on Amazon does not include the relevant pagers (page 21-23). If you happen to have those in electronic format, please let me know.

Marc comments on every single post, and I think this is an excellent idea. Who says CoE shouldn't be a place where the merit of individual posts are discussed? Anyone?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Evolution tweets from Ottawa

Lots of people are tweeting from the Evolution 2012 conference in Ottawa. It's the biggest evolution conference ever - first joint North American and European. Sad for those who are missing it, but at least you can follow it on Twitter.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

CoE $49 at the Mousetrap

CoE #49 is up at the Mousetrap. This is Joachim Dagg's blog, and he really likes mousetraps. I suppose this may be inspired by Michael Behe, but I cannot be sure. Here's one of my favorites:

 As he says, notice the trap to the right. There are other interesting things to notice here.

 Next edition - the 50th - will be at Teaching Biology.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CoE poster for Ottawa

BEACON has a booth at Evolution 2012 in Ottawa, and they have invited me to put up a poster about Carnival of Evolution.

Here's a draft. Let me know what you think, plz. (Click image for larger version.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

CoE #48: The Icelandic Saga

Yeah! The June edition of Carnival of Evolution has now gone up on Pharyngula:

Carnival of Evolution #48: The Icelandic Saga!

There are nearly 50 posts written by some amazing science bloggers. I seriously wonder when CoE is going to reach that tipping point where close to all evolutionary biologists knows about it, and looks forward to some more or less light reading about diverse topics in evolution every month.

Follow CoE on Twitter @CarnyEvolution
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Monday, June 4, 2012

CoE flier draft

I've been working a little to put together a flier to make available at evolution conferences (other places?). Tell me what you think. What could make it better? And what should go on the other side, if anything?